Whole typing


So, what’s that jazz?

Blake’s got his solera-fine intuition working for him. I think by whole typing he means something more than that, but unless I’ve missed it somewhere he hasn’t set out to anatomize it for us. Which is probably wise. But I’m curious.

I’d like to venture a mind-sized model for some of what is meant by whole typing. If I say “function dyads” that will by now seem both obvious and less than helpful. “Seeing two functions at once,” maybe. That’s the art. But which two?

A person has 28 function dyads, a lunar cycle’s worth. Throw in the necessary astrology, to say nothing of tritones, and it’s cacophony.

Clearly, some dyads say more than others.

John Beebe, in a Jungian context, talks about two kinds of function dyad (not by that name). He picks out seven basic function dyads (like a musical scale) and six function dyads we might call chords, for a total of thirteen significant function dyads.

Beebe’s basic dyads consist of the dominant function paired with each of the other seven. Viewed this way, he has found that they take on archetypal resonance as the hero’s encounter with father/mother, endless child, anima/animus, rival, senex/witch, trickster, and demon.

His chordic function dyads are “spine” (I-IV), “arms” (II-III), and the four shadow pairings (I-V, II-VI, III-VII, IV-VIII).

In other words, as an analyst who spends fifty hours or a hundred or more doing analysis with a single person, with a focus on transformation, Beebe finds it useful to have thirteen pairs of functions to see at once. Still too many, unless you’re an ENTP and into Schoenberg!

We could say from a different point of view that for typing there is only one basic dyad, which is I-II (Ni-Fe, for the INFJ). Tap-tap-tap, the sound of one hand typing. This is ideally true but, for various reasons, deceptive or not informative enough to be useful. One good reason is that, in how someone presents, the dominant function is sort of implicit and the auxiliary can be totally silenced. Stellar Maze is about getting past this.

A lot of the articles aren’t directly concerned with typing. There’s a focus on II-VI (Fe flow) and II-VII (minimums). The depths, the shadows. Also I-III and III-VI (looping).

With whole typing we’re talking about sussing a person. That’s beach rock, or maybe at most Beach Boys. Fundamentally, there are three dyads that are strong and visible enough to start from: I-IV, II-III, and II-VI. We learn how those pairs work and how to see them, and I’m guessing that we get a working grasp of whole typing.

That’s in general.

What can I say about I-IV? Dominant and inferior. This is what Beebe calls the spine, where a person’s integrity lives. Hero and anima/animus. Dorothy (Fe) and the Scarecrow (inferior Ti) is the example he talks about.

Blake said this dyad has to do with information feedback that orients the ego, and that the inferior can appear like lightning. There’s an inferior grip that can be seen sometimes.

The image that comes to me is a fountain. Maybe Blake suggested that somewhere.

I was thinking a little while ago about ISJs. Usually, I don’t notice them, because why would I? But I do live with one. What usually catches my eye in an ISJ, if anything at all, is the bubbly quality of their inferior Ne.

I worked with an accomplished ISTJ woman, a lawyer and former medical professional. She is nearing retirement. She liked me and would tell me about her family, her hobbies, and memories from her career. I fell asleep writing that sentence but the woman has, I guess, a strong aura. Her fountain runs steady and clear.

The thought occurred to me that one way to size up a person’s psychic health is to attend to the state of their I-IV. We look at the inferior function in isolation, which can be murky or grippy or zesty or endearing. But maybe a true sign of character development or integration is when the I-IV dyad itself is visible. A person who’s really made it will show their spine and it will look like a fountain.

But we were talking about typing anyone, not just the elect.

When we want to be well-regarded, I think we tend to stick out our I-IV. It’s like psychic duck-face, we can’t help it. The ego wants credit for its mastery of its opposite. It gutters blindly towards fountainhood.

This makes I-IV a great starting point for quick typing and particularly typing from photos.

Paradoxically, we’d rather type from the auxiliary and tertiary, II-III and II-VI, because we have more knowledge about these dyads. They’re vivid and there are strong examples to learn from. Lots of material. But they’re also sort of a confusing place to start, because there are two dyads involved and it’s difficult not to mix them up. (And we know that sometimes it’s tricky to say whether a function we see in a person, like Fe, is dominant or somewhere in the II-III/II-VI dyads, which means you’d be trying to sort out three dyads at once.)

The I-IV is stable and impossible to hide, even if not obvious.

How about an illustration! I did some quick Googling and found the image at the top.

To me these women read at a glance as ENFP and ESFP. Those types may not be correct, or you may disagree, but more importantly what I’m seeing instantly in the photo is the Ne-Si spine on the left and the Se-Ni spine on the right.

This also shows how a quick typing from II-III or II-VI could be confusing. (Is that Fi or Fe?) The woman on the left could be ISFJ, maybe. From video clips I think she’s ENFP. (Her name is Alice Levine-- I think she does podcasts and quiz shows in the UK?)

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Absolutely! Excellent choice of subjects, @Sparrow, as the two women are displaying the hallmark signatures of Ne-Si and Se-Ni with relatively minimal interference from other functions.

That being said, there are still hints of the auxiliary or tertiary functions leaking through. Sufficient for me to guess that the woman on the left is ENFP and the lady on the right is ESTP. The tilted head is a classic tertiary-Fe visual cue, from my experience.

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Yes, I see it.

ESFP is more like


Ne-Si vs. Si-Ne spine



Te-Fi vs. Fi-Te




ESTJ and INFP, would you say?

Or to put it another way, how pure do you find the expression of I-IV in those pictures? I find it a little harder to gauge with rational types.

I’ve always thought Mr. Lydon to be an ENTJ, and yes sir, I’m thinking Mr. Doherty is an INFP.

I definitely find the expressions to be pretty pure. Johnny is definitely casting that Te vibe pretty hard. I think they both look very much like their types for sure, and they both look very much the opposite of each other as far as the Fi-Te dynamic is concerned.

Ah yes, ok! I didn’t recognise either of them. That is indeed the least Ni-Se picture you could have found of Senor Rotten, to my eye.

Whereas here:
the Ni-Se II-III is much more front and centre. Compare with
Patrick Warburton, who I take to be an E3 ENFJ. There’s more of the dominant coming through but still the Ni-Se predominates.

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Agreed - that image immediately made me think of my ESFP mother in her younger days.

Even though she’s in many ways a classic beauty, Monica Potter still can’t help displaying that adorable ENFP dorkiness:


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Mmmmm pure deliciousness :stuck_out_tongue_winking_eye:

Yes, that’s what I do! and I’m sure many of you do, too:) If the mbti type is not blatantly obvious, then I try to figure out which perception axis the person is using by looking at his or her eyes, but in some cases I find it difficult to judge whether the person is a Ni-Se or Ne-Si user. For example, Carrie Fisher and Roger Federer are ISFJs, but both have very intense and soulful eyes that I thought only Ni-Se users could have. They don’t have the standard Si-Ne-spine, that’s at least the impression I get from the photos below:

Yeah! Those are good.

Worth considering Audrey Hepburn, who Blake has as an ISFJ. I agree, but in most pictures I find it very difficult not to see classic ENFP.


It’s only in a shot like this

or this

where it’s easier to see the Si dominance.

But actually what’s strongest is maybe Fe with the soulful quality you’re pointing out in Carrie Fisher or Roger Federer. The soulful Fe is what’s eclipsed in most of Hepburn’s pictures by the totally luminous inferior Ne. That bright shining I-IV you can see in exceptional people.

Helena Bonham Carter is usually throwing Ni but sometimes you see more of the Fe.

The soulfulness you’re pointing to in Fisher and Federer is there, I think, but the Si/Ni difference is evident too-- go back and compare Carrie Fisher!

And actually here I think she’s an excellent example of classic Si eyes:

I’m not yet convinced I’m not bullshitting but it helps to have some known types to study!

No idea about Federer but I agree the picture looks ISFJish, it’s a facial type I recognise.

Hugh Grant-- INFJ with ENTJ… rising?

Hmm… or rather… ESTP? :upside_down_face: I do agree with a xxTJ rising subtype.

Pfft of course he is. :upside_down_face:

I find I can easily overestimate Ni in an ESTP, if there’s any on display, because the Se makes it so very visible and present.

Hey, when you get the time, would you mind expanding on this a little? It seemed obvious when I first read it, but then I came back and… not sure anymore. I feel like you have some something to teach/show me. I’ve been thinking about my ESTP father and how when I got into MBTI I first typed him as an intuitive. It was clear to me that he must be an intuitive, because of some sort of understanding from a distance that we had. I’m sure there are factors explaining that particular dynamic that go beyond just our MBTI types, but it would be interesting to know more about Ni in ESTPs.

And in ESFPs.

I have the same spooky-distance-telepathic connection with my ESFP mother.


Thanks for your patience! I’ve been forgetting that time passes allowing my intuition to range freely on this point. This is still a bit of a jumble.

I’m fascinated to hear more about what your ESTP dad is like, because when I picture a perfect wish-fulfillment dad for me that would be his type. (Mine is INTP.)

There may be a simple explanation for this. STPs are the only types with Ni/Se and no strong Fi. ISTPs are surly and worse, rational. (No offence. :P) Ergo ESTPs, if they have any maturity, see things my way and they’re relaxing and stable. Or I guess they’re unstable in ways I find intuitive. Perhaps their Fi placement can be difficult in the family context that I never see.

I imagine it’s a bit like any type carries their tertiary-inferior on their shoulders like an adorable ghost child. ESTPs can glow baby ENFJ in an ambient way. It’s like if your car could talk to you by fading its dash lights, lol. There’s a steady performance of low-key attention and depth. Similarly I’m always a little bit afraid an ENFJ is going to beat me up.

Hugh Grant has appearances on the Ellen Degeneres show that capture how I imagine myself to be when I’m projecting power. It’s idealized and I’m aware that’s not how I come off to other people. But he creates an outward sense of how it feels inside when I’m in control, as though I can see immediately on his face and hear in his voice the flavour and shape of my mental processes.

Now I don’t actually seem that way, I think. No one would mistake me for the guy. But what I can do, strangely, is manifest Hugh Grant. When I’m stage acting, people consistently come up to me after and say “you’re just like Hugh Grant.” It helps that I guess I look a bit like him. I typically get roles that lend themselves to that sardonic, warm-but-detached kind of delivery. I can act beats with my eyebrows, which is mostly what he does.

(See also Hugh Laurie, another ESTP with maybe ENFP rising and some introverted moon. Has there been a more memorable performance of Ni on American TV than Dr. House?)

I feel like there’s something in this that plays into a thought @Stewart was exploring, something to do with how Ni/Se works performatively in an Fe context. We’re astral transponders or something. I find there’s a huge expenditure of energy involved in acting-- I’m generally fit and healthy but can drench myself in sweat just from saying the words and embodying the character. It’s kinda gross.

Now I suspect my moon is ESTP, which definitely draws my focus to this phenomenon and puts me on a particular wavelength. With ESFPs I sometimes have a vague sense that there’s something similar running the opposite direction, like I can see them seeing me finding them legible. I can see that being seductive and immediate-- not a pleasure I’ve tasted!-- but it’s not relaxing or clear for me in the same way.

Kind of a ramble but I hope that fleshes it out a bit!